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Vladimir Nabokov

Part Two, Chapters 30–36

Part Two, Chapters 23–29

Part Two, Chapters 30–36, page 2

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Summary: Chapter 30

Humbert departs to find Dr. Ivor Quilty. Attempting to take a shortcut, Humbert’s car gets hopelessly stuck in a muddy ditch. He walks several miles, in the rain, to a farmhouse and waits for someone to pull his car out. Around midnight, he manages to drive on, but exhaustion causes him to stop in a small town, not far from the Enchanted Hunters hotel.

Summary: Chapter 31

Humbert remembers a priest he once knew in Quebec, who would discuss the nature of sin with him at length. He confesses that, despite receiving much spiritual solace from the priest, he himself can never forget the sinful things he inflicted on Lolita. He claims that he will never find peace because, as he puts it, a maniac deprived Dolores Haze of her childhood.

Summary: Chapter 32

Humbert realizes that because he was so consumed by his desire for her, he never really understood the real Lolita. In his narrative, he begins addressing Lolita directly. Humbert recalls a time, back in Beardsley, when Lolita burst into tears after witnessing the ordinary, normal affection between her friend and her friend’s father. Humbert realizes that even her strained relationship with Charlotte was preferable to Lolita’s life with him and that Lolita must miss her mother.

Summary: Chapter 33

Humbert returns to Ramsdale. He visits the old Haze house, now occupied by a new family with a nymphet daughter. Humbert visits Windmuller’s office, then goes to see Dr. Ivor Quilty on the pretext of needing some dental work. From Ivor, Humbert learns that Clare Quilty lives in Pavor Manor, on Grimm Road. With that knowledge, he leaves Dr. Quilty abruptly.

Summary: Chapter 34

Humbert drives past Pavor Manor and imagines what kind of scandalous, reprehensible activities must be taking place inside. He drives back into town, to return the next morning. Through the trees, he sees the screen of a drive-in movie. Humbert can see a man in the film raise a gun before the trees obscure his vision.

Summary: Chapter 35

The next day, Humbert arrives at Pavor Manor with his loaded gun. Humbert enters the huge and extravagantly furnished house and hunts for Quilty. Quilty emerges from a bathroom and appears unmoved by Humbert’s requests that he recall Lolita. While Humbert explains to Quilty why he must die, Quilty tries to distract him with clever wordplay. Quilty lunges for the gun, and the two men wrestle. Humbert regains control of the gun, then reads a poem detailing Quilty’s crimes. Quilty critiques the poem and offers Humbert many bribes, including concubines and erotic pictures. Humbert shoots, and Quilty tries to escape, running through the house. Humbert shoots him many times, but Quilty does not seem to die. Quilty begs for his life, but Humbert finally kills him. Humbert realizes that he does not feel any peace and is surprised to see a group of people sitting in the drawing room downstairs, drinking. Humbert claims he killed Quilty, but no one notices.

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Lolita is actually a pubescent child.

by lunaontherun, June 28, 2013

Lolita is a child in the early stages of puberty. Humbert, being attracted to such girls, is technically a hebephile, not a pedophile.


3 out of 5 people found this helpful

Chapter 35

by Insanity_Prevails, December 08, 2013

I think there's a bit of a deeper meaning to the end of Chapter 35. As we see when Humbert goes downstairs after killing Quilty, there appears to be a party, or at least some sort of social gathering, occurring, none of which Humbert noticed before, dismissing the noise they had been making as "a mere singing in [his] ears." The people at this gathering seem not to care about the fact that he has just committed murder upstairs, and one even congratulates him: "Somebody ought to have done it long ago." I, for one, am brought to question how m... Read more


29 out of 31 people found this helpful

This quote meaning "And the rest is rust and stardust"

by kellydollxoxo, February 08, 2015

What does the famous quote mean in his "Wanted" poem?

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